Within the recent years of the early 2000’s up until now, we are finally receiving inclusivity within the Hispanic and Latino community. We’re narrowing down the top superheroes from the Marvel and DC franchises.
This grand list will include a little backstory, what powers they have, and each character’s purposes in their hero’s journey. These people represent many different aspects of becoming a hero in America while maintaining whatever social life they can muster.
We will start with…
America Chavez as Miss. America
First appearance: Vengeance #1 (2011)
First comic standalone issue: America #1 (2017)
Starting our list is America Chavez! America self-identifies as Puerto Rican, and she resides in New York City.
Now America’s backstory is a little confusing. The first iteration is her parents, Amalia and Elena Chavez, were research scientists from the Bronx. Their main goal was to cure their two daughters, America and Catalina, from a rare disease. They went to the Utopian Parallel facility, where Dr. Gale was suppose to help them. Instead of getting a cure, America and her sister were infected by a demiurge. A demiurge is a sentient life force from the Earth’s biosphere.
When this happened, her parents risked their lives to save her. America got separated from her sister, and in the admist to all the trauma, her memory was wiped. As America grew up, she made up a whole fantasy of her past life, in which she is a princes from an alternative dimension, the Utopian Parallel! Which one is the real backstory of Miss. America? You decide!
Either way, America’s powers is superhuman speed, strength, and flight. Her most notable ability is that she can open portals anywhere in the world and across the multiverse.
America has joined numerous superhero teams; the most notable one is an all-girl superhero Avengers, The A-Force.
She is a part of the LGBTQIA+ community!
In the MCU, she is portrayed by Xochitl Gomez. She made her first appearance in Dr. Strange: Multiverse of Madness.
Miles Morales as Spider-Man
First appearance: Ultimate Comics: Fallout #4 (2011)
First comic standalone issue: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 (2018)
Next on our list is Miles Morales! He is a biracial teenager of Black and Puerto Rican descent. Miles fights crime in Brooklyn, New York!
Miles’ Uncle Aaron, aka the Prowler, stole specimen 42 Spider from Norman Osbourne, the Green Goblin. Norman tried to recreate Spider-Man with specimen 42. While Miles was hanging out with his Uncle, the spider bit him. He received the same powers as Peter Parker, which included heightened strength, speed, stamina, durability, and Spider-Sense. Miles also has sticking fingers so that he can climb walls.
There is one subtle difference between Miles and Peter. This new Spider-Man has bio-electrokinesis powers. With this ability, he can use a “venom blast” that can ultimately stun his enemies. As for protection, he can camouflage into his surroundings.
His journey started out a bit rough. He felt the powers were a burden. It wasn’t until Miles witnessed Peter Parker’s death as Spider-Man that he took up the mantle. He felt guilty over Peter’s death, and it wasn’t until Gwen Stacy shared some advice that Peter shared with her. It was something that Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Miles is not the only Latinx Spider-Man in Marvel. There are two more! Miguel O’Hara is Spider-Man 2099, and he identifies as half Irish and Mexican. He will appear in the next Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse film with Oscar Isaacs as the 2099 Spider-Man. The second Spider-Man is actually a Spider-Girl! She is a Puerto Rican and Mexican teenager fighting crime in Brooklyn!
In 2018, Shameik Moore took the role of Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into Spider-Verse. The sequel is coming in 2023.
Sam Alexander as Nova
First appearance: Marvel Point One #1 (2011)
First standalone: Nova #1 (2013)
Sam Alexander is half Mexican and Alien. Yes that’s right! His father is from outer space! He’s a part of the Intergalactic Space Cops, the Nova Core.
He is the son of Jesse Alexander, a former Nova Core. Once his father goes missing, he puts on the helmet and searches for him. His powers are a long list of superhuman strength, durability, flight, energy projection, telekinesis, force fields, universal translation, and the ability to breathe underwater and in space.
Sam had a complicated relationship with his dad. When he was younger, Sam would hear stories from his dad about space and fighting crime. He never believed him, and his resentment towards his father grew worse as Sam became a teenager. It wasn’t until his father went missing that he began to believe in the space tales.
The Watcher, Uatu, silently helps Sam with a lot of his mission, which is very unusual considering he isn’t allowed to intervene in the timeline.
Robbie Reyes as Ghost Rider
First Appearance/First Standalone: All-New Ghost Rider #1 (2014)
Robbie Reyes is a young Mexican-American living in East Los Angeles! His story is a bit complicated. He got his powers from his dead serial killer Uncle Eli when he stole a car from a drug lord named Grumpy. Calvin Zabo, a man apart of the cartel, shoots and kills Robbie. His Uncle “saves” him by giving him the power of the Ghostrider. But it comes at a price! His Uncle Eli is stuck within the Ghost Rider spirit, and he’s thirsty for more deaths.
On top of all that, Robbie’s parents had passed away years earlier, so he is always tight on cash. Robbie also has to take care of his younger brother, Gabe, who has paraplegia! The struggle is real.
Robbie and the rest of the iterations of the Ghost Riders are considered anti-heroes because they don’t follow the hero archetype.
Gabriel Luna played Robbie Reyes in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D from 2016-2017.
Ava Ayala as White Tiger
First appearance: Avengers Academy Issue #20 (2011)
Ava is a young Puerto Rican girl raised in a Superhero Family living in New York! Ava’s older brother, Hector, fought crime as the White Tiger. He gets his ability from the Jade Amulets of Power, a talisman from the Tiger God. One day when Ava comes home from school, she witnesses her parents and her sister Awilda murdered. Hector gives up his identity and leaves New York. Ava stays with Awilda’s husband and his daughter Angela.
When Angela comes of age, she acquires the White Tiger amulet. However, this doesn’t last long because an evil ninja group, the Hand, soon corrupts her. Ava, now a teenager, takes the amulet and follows in the steps of her family. With these new powers, her physical strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, coordination, and endurance are enhanced to slightly superhuman levels.
Before her comic appearance debut, she was initially made for the Ultimate Spider-Man (2011-2017) cartoon series.
Now let’s move on to…
Jessica Cruz as The Green Lantern
First appearance (cameo): Justice League (Volume 2) #30 (2014)
First appearance: Justice League #31 (2014)
Jessica Cruz is Mexican and Honduran descent, and she resides in Portland, Oregon. Jessica grew up having a tough life, suffering from PTSD and social anxiety because of a tragic incident she witnessed. Her whole life changed, though, when the Volthoom ring unwillingly chose her. The Ring of Volthoom is evil and draws its power from fear within the beholder. It kills you from the inside out. Unlike the previous ring holders, it forced itself on Jessica. It took over her entire body! While under its control, she attacked her hometown, so The Justice League and the Doom Patrol stepped in and detained her.
With the help of Batman and the training from Hal Jordan, she was able to be in control of the ring. With the power of the ring, she can fly, project energy-based constructions, and other various abilities that are limited within her own imagination and willpower.
She has a burn mark on her right eye from a Power Ring. She also is not the only Green Lantern that is Latino! Kyle Rayner is another, and his ethnicity is half Irish and Mexican! It’s so good to see multiple people with the same race portray the same hero because it shows DC isn’t afraid of adding POC without making it feel like the character is just a token.
Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle
First appearance: Infinite Crisis #3 (2006)
First standalone comic: Blue Beetle (Volume 7) (2006)
If you travel to El Paso, Texas, you’ll find a Mexican American teenager dressed like a bug! One day when Jaime was walking home from school, he and his friends Paco and Brenda stumbled across a Scarab (a blue beetle). It was half buried in an empty lot. Curious about what it could be, he took it home. That night the Scarab connected to Jaime’s spine, and the rest was history. With his new powers, he can create a number of weapons, including energy cannons, swords, shields, grappling hooks, claws, blades, and he can fly. Jaime can also hack into high-tech.
The Scarab comes from an alien nation, the Reach. It’s is a living weapon created by the Reach to take over the host’s body and ultimately take over the world they inhabit.
The only reason why the Scarab hasn’t turned bad is because of the bond it has with Jaime.
Xolo Maridueña will be playing Jaime Reyes in the upcoming movie Blue Beetle. It will be released sometime in 2023!
Cisco Ramon as Vibe
First comic appearance: Justice League Annual #2 (1984)
First standalone: Vibe #1 (2013)
Cisco Ramon was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan by a Puerto Rican family. His superhero journey starts when Darkseid first invaded Earth! He caught the exposure of an interdimensional force from a boom tube. A boom tube is a time-traveling portal by a Mother Box (an alien living computer.) He now has vibrational powers, including manipulating vibrations, frequency, and resonance. He can create shock waves that can shatter concrete or steel.
Prior to the New 52 relaunch, Cisco was the first member from the Justice League to die in the line of duty! Now he is considered the most powerful meta-human on Earth because his abilities enable him to move the tectonic plates, which can destroy the Earth!
Carlos Valdez portrayed Cisco on the Flash from 2014-2021.
Yolanda Montez as Wildcat
First comic appearance: Infinity Inc. #12 (1985)
When her mom was still pregnant, she was experimented on by Dr. Love. Her Godfather, Ted Grant, was the superhero, Wildcat. When Yolanda’s powers activated, she took over for her Godfather when he sustained injuries during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Her powers are retractable claw-like fingernails and cat-like agility.
At first, her Godfather didn’t like there was a new Wildcat. It wasn’t until Yolanda revealed her identity to him that he was on board.
Yvette Monreal portrays Yolanda in Stargirl (2020-).
Kendra Saunders as Hawkgirl
First appearance: JSA Secret Files and Origins Vol 11 (1999)
First Standalone: Hawkgirl: The Maw (2007)
Kendra Saunders is a Latina badass warrior, but her history is extremely chaotic. A lot of the DC characters are considering the relaunch of New 52 in 2011. But it’s even more with Kendra because she is the reincarnation of her grandfather’s first cousin, Shiera Saunders Hall. Kendra committed suicide, and when her soul left her body, Shiera entered it. She awoke with the memories of Kendra, and for the most part, her personality. What’s different, you ask? Kendra gained a serious upgrade of powers. She obtained wings, new fighting techniques, superhuman strength, and vision. She also gained immortality, can heal faster, has better hearing, durability and stamina. Kendra’s most unique power is she has an acute ability to communicate with birds!
Before her transformation, Kendra gave birth to a daughter named Mia. Ultimately, she gave her up for adoption because she was only a teenager.
Ciara Renée portrayed Kendra in the Arrowverse! Renée had a prominent role in the first season of Legends of Tomorrow (2016-2022).
So there you have it, folks. These are five heroes from Marvel and DC that we should recognize more! Many of these characters have either been revamped or just recently made within the last few years. We need representation, and through comic books, we can visually see the change to a much more diverse well-fleshed heroes!
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